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Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Congratulations Oxxidation. I hope we can re-visit this prompt in the future, this is not an easy style.

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Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


sebmojo posted:

It was a good story, for sure. As for you, Stuporstar, want a challenge? 1000 Magic Realist words at twenty paces, I'm feeling fresh.

If Stuporstar doesn't take up your challenge, I'll spar with you. Or judge your round if you would like.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


:ducksiren: Thunderbrawl: Sebmojo vs. Stuporstar :ducksiren:

Prompt: Magical Realism
Word Count: 1000 Words or less
Deadline: March 6th, 6pm PST (24 hours from now)

Flash Rule: Raw meat.

Full crits for both.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Stuporstar posted:

I'm gonna put as much thought into that prompt as you put into making it—none. I'm an OT. :dealwithit:

I'm gonna write what I drat well want, and you're all gonna drat well like it.

Edit: And here it is.

The Girl in the Mirror (962 words)



e. welp, sebmojo posted already. BRAWL IS CLOSED I will do my best to get out a judgment tonight, and a full critique for Sebmojo tomorrow morning (or sooner if possible).

Posting your critique now, even though the deadline isn't for another hour or so. An unexpected event occurred that will not leave me with adequate time tonight. I do not think this will impact Sebmojo's efforts in any meaningful way, or sabotage your efforts at winning the brawl by providing your opponent with your feedback.

Cracking out my books for this one.

Prompt: The prompt was magical realism, and unfortunately I think you might have benefitted from waiting for some crits to pop out from this week before posting (I wrote this this morning, thinking more constructive critiques would have been posted for current stories), because I think you missed magical realism like many of us did. Perhaps your hubris got the best of you.

In this story, a clearly magical event happens. A woman constantly sees her younger self through a mirror, and what makes this particular day important is that finally the girl comes to life. This woman is manifesting her own regret into a physical embodiment. That works, its direct consequence of a theme. What begins to set this apart from magical realism is that even in your story your character assumes this to be just a figment of their imagination. They do not take this as reality until they are confronted by an outside source (the mother) to confirm that what she is experiencing is in fact real. This is butting heads with the idea of Authorial Reticence, where she is explaining to herself this idea of magic being not real.

However, your character does take it at face value once her mother joins in on everything, directing the flow back towards magical realism. The issue I have with the rest of the ideals of magical realism is that to quote you, “if he'd only gone further with it.” The magical realism is linked thematically with your story (which does have its own faults, but we’ll get to that), about time and regret, but there’s no distance. I would have loved to see the girl in the mirror being the target, looking in on her old self.
In this way, you have this little girl wondering why she isn’t a famous artist yet, and wondering she was so tired, yet we as a reader knows that’s just what can happen to people who actually want to have a comfortable living on art, but the little girl doesn’t. The theme of time and regret become cyclical, and inevitable, which is from a person seeing their future self is more appropriate than someone looking back on their former self. That clear distance is what the author needs to have to really capture the idea of magical realism.

Character: For a successful short story, you need a character who has a change, OR, a distinct moment in time where change could occur, and does not. I am very aware the constraints of the word count don’t necessarily allow for those kind of things to occur, but you have to push for something. I think you start toying with the idea of maybe this little version of the character will start to influence the character’s life, but I think that’s a stretch. One tiny thing I saw that made me stop was when you referred to the plane as “our” plane, but the character corrected herself. That is a god part, but I don’t think you focused on enough on it. A thought about what if she had herself as a daughter, or just living there, INSTEAD of shipping her off the parents, regardless of what the outcome was, would have been that character defining/defying moment.

As far as characterization of the character, she’s standard overworked post-grad with a graphic design degree, nothing too fancy or unique. Why do we care about this person? What did happen to that dream of being a famous artist? When she tells her former self not to break her ipad, is it because she herself was once reckless as a child, or because that’s just a thing you tell children? Also, how old is her former self? She doesn’t draw arms, but can speak like an adult? And can Skype?

Conflict: Here’s one of my biggest complaints about the story. There is no conflict at all. No tension, no driving force, nothing to move the story from beginning to end. But you could have. Even in 1000 words, there were places where conflict could have come up, but everyone is just along for the ride and agreeable. The child could have been anything, feisty, evil, or uncomfortably attached, and yet still been a mirror of this character. Was ditching the girl with the parents for the protagonists sake, or the parents? Clearly the mom is relieved, and the woman is relieved to be rid of annoying kid, but what’s at stake? If there’s no conflict, there’s no tension, if there’s no tension why am I reading?

Setting: The only setting that got any kind of description was the airport. I’ve been trying to figure out why exactly, and what significance the airport itself has, because if it’s the only thing that gets description, it better mean something. If it wasn’t just random in what was described, then I think it should have had more impact on story. In and of itself, the airport should have been the hub of everything. In the essence of space, cut everything before the airport, fill it in with smaller details. The airport could have been this huge motif of all these options the character had in dealing with this situation, AND at the same time could have (which you started to do) characterized the child. I think you missed an opportunity to really explore that airport and what it meant to the story.

Plot: The plot is really the beginning, middle and end of things. In 1000 words, I feel as though each section needs to have its weight, the beginning sets up the character, background, and at the end of Act 1 presents the character with dilemma. Act 2, and often is the case gets the bulk of attention, is what or how the character is going to deal with this dilemma. Act 3, or the end, is the climax and resolution of things. In order to have a satisfactory third act, you need something to happen during the first act to set things into motion. For the climax to be meaningful, sufficient tension has to be established. The mildly driving point of your story is for the protagonist to get rid of the younger self because she’s annoying. There’s just not enough conflict or tension.

Theme: Magical realism aside, the thematic throughline to me seems to be about regret and lost time. But having to confront the idealistic self didn’t prompt any change or re-evaluation of life, and on the other side there was no indication that this theme of time was cyclical and self-fulfilling. You could have given hints in the child that their mannerisms would turn into this regretful woman, but she maintains her idealistic self. There’s not even the older, wiser person evaluating this child and seeing things they never saw before either.

Overall: You start to scratch the surface and point of magical realism, but you don’t hit it. There’s no overt flags that really say “magical realism” present, aside from the fact that a magical incident happens, and even then that event is still taken with skepticism from the main character which demystifies the entire event. Your characterization of this person is flat, and I feel you could have added some unique elements by weaving the airport motif into the two characters better. Your plot and conflict are the biggest problems in the story, it just doesn’t go anywhere, or set anything up. Without the presence of conflict your themes are limp threads that make no pattern or structure.

Suggestions for improvement (Do with these what you will, but this is how I think your story can be improved): You’re a competent writer, that’s clear. The line by line edits aren’t necessary because I think an entire overhaul is what is needed. Start in the airport, don’t make us wait to get there. To achieve magical realism you need there to no doubt in anyone’s mind this girl is real, and she is the younger version of the protagonist. That has to happen in the beginning of the story. The reason they are at the airport needs to be the central conflict, and at least two outcomes to this conflict need to be addressed. A choice has to be presented to the character intangibly. Does this character do A, or does this Character do B. What is at stake? Is sending the little girl away is the nail in the coffin of all her hopes and dreams? Or does keeping the little girl signify she’s not just a drone, that there is potential for redemption?
The mother is an extraneous character who gets more characterization than the protagonist. Fix that. The mother shouldn’t even be mentioned but in passing. Devote more time to interacting between the self and former self and the setting. Pick a theme and run with it and then show it. What am I supposed to get out of this story?

Lastly, I know 1000 words to work with is a paltry amount of words, critiquing is significantly easier than writing, and 24 hours is a tough constraint. I don’t know if you had anymore time to work with this, but it needs it. Could be the nature of all of the elements coming into play, but so it goes.

ps. Defiantly ignoring the flash prompt makes you look petty and childish.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


sebmojo posted:

THUNDERBRAWL: Stuporstar/Sebmojo

A foolish consistency


Prompt: Your magical realism is stronger than Stuporstar’s, with your goblins representing something ubiquitous like a cell phone, or a facebook; To be looked on suspiciously to not have one, yet not necessarily crucial. I can’t tell if this little nugget about the bollard is part of the story, why would one perch upon a bollard? It makes me wonder if these are not necessarily humans the story is based upon. That starts to tread into fantasy, so be careful with how overtly magical this world is. If you have abunch of trolls living with goblins, there’s no “reality” with which to compare the supernatural to.

My interpretation is that the goblin somehow helps with his workload, but that could also be just because he’s a lazy office worker. I’m going to critique based on its necessity to the workforce, which keys in to a folklore idea.

The magical realism isn’t an event, it’s just a normality. How does this goblin pertain to the main character? Since everyone has a goblin, what makes it so unique to the protagonist? What emotional circumstance does it feed into? What undercurrent is this magical realism commenting on? I don’t see it. I don’t know enough about this character to know why he feels the need to be rid of this societal pressure.

Character: You’ve got some unique ideas that I don’t think get fleshed out enough. Each goblin is an extension of the owner, and you note this by their color and plumage, but I want more. Colin’s goblin gets the most attention and characterization, but it shouldn’t. The characters goblin should be the prime extension, and by that we can begin to infer more about other people’s goblins. The trouble with the goblins is that there’s no distinct function of them, they’re just there, but somehow important. I feel like you had the idea, and the ability to include this, but did not.

Conflict: Like Stuporstar, this is the weakest part of your story, but you had significantly more potential for it than the other story. Why is the protagonist okay with the goblin being gone, what ARE the consequences of the goblin being gone, and that moment he sees his goblin longing for him, why does he pick one or the other? This societal pressure to have his goblin hasn’t actually impacted his life, but it could have. You tease it, but that’s not enough. You need a clear, delineated consequence of what happens if he leaves his goblin there, because otherwise crumbling under outside pressure loses its bite of an ending.

Plot: You only wrote 800 words, and I think you cut yourself too short. You had another 1/5 of the word count to work with and really drive in some points but you left it a little famished. Skin and bones here. Act 1 should have been losing the goblin, act 2 should have been why its so important to have a goblin, and act 3 is his decision about whether or not he has this goblin. You have the structure pretty soundly, actually, but its not plump enough and impactful enough. Deciding on picking up the goblin should be more climactic, as well as losing the goblin should have been more treacherous for the protagonist. Right now its just a small wave that never gets any bigger. You want a wave you can surf.

Setting: The setting here isn’t as important to the story as it could have been as well. The office building could have been a central theme, the goblin representing societal pressure to get a job, go to work, get old and die, and the office building is a perfect representation of that. You start to play with the office environment but you don’t use its full potential. The protagonist is going outside the norm of things by not keeping his goblin, which SHOULD make him care about office gossip, he SHOULD care about his boss suddenly looking at him in a different light. Because that will make his decision to either pick the goblin back up, or let it go, be that much more impactful. Setting this story completely in the office personifies this idea of what happens when you go outside the norm society thinks you should be doing.

Theme: The theme I get from this is how important this little doodad is, even though it isn’t, but everyone says it is, therefore it is. But again, you lack the teeth to really bite into it. You flirt with it so many times that I see it, and I think its clear to you, but when you only have 1000 words to work with subtlety is not your friend. When you’re only using 800 words, you’re just not doing enough in my mind.

Overall: I think you got the concept of magical realism, but you can explain the role of the goblin in society more without losing its supernaturalness. Its importance to the story should be 100% clear, but its not.

You miss a chance to characterize the goblins more but avoiding connecting the goblins to their owners personality. The things you do are good though, the goblins are clearly needy, odd little things but I want more.

I don’t think you have to push the magicalness, I think you have to push the essence of the short story more. However, you established a conflict and tension, which goes a really long way to creating that crucial Beginning, Middle, End arc that a short story needs. If you accentuate these things, I think you have an incredibly subversive and poignant story on your hands.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


:ducksiren:Thunderbrawl:ducksiren: Sebmojo v. Stuporstar

Winner: Sebmojo

Reasoning: My decision to who wrote a better story doesn't involve who is stylistically, or syntaxtually a better writer. I think both writers are competent and create clear visual images using an economy of words. My decision is based on which closely follows the elements of the literary short story, and adhering to magical realism more closely.

I believe Sebmojo's use of conflict makes a more clear separation for where the plot goes, and how it works. The presence of a stronger, more meaningful use of magical realism also edged you over Stuporstar.

That is not to say each were not without their faults, and I actually think that with reworkings, either one of them would be the winner. Stuporstar had a strong opportunity to have a piece thematically linked to time, regret, and life choices appropriately set in an airport, while Sebmojo had that opportunity to have a piece story about societal pressures, life necessities, and abnormality set appropriately in an office complex. However, I think Sebmojo had the stronger piece.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Downhill
Words: 998

Standing in the copy room, Gary watched sheets come out of the color printer. Each page a lead weight in his stomach. He looked at the display. The toner amounts seemed to leak away, pixel by pixel, with every sheet.

Each new page felt like it raised the temperature a degree; little tiny embers heating the room. His vision blurred and he could feel the ends of his ears burning up. Gary had a problem with sweating. He didn’t sweat enough, which gave him headaches and nausea.

I have to fire this person, he thought, at least furlough them. I don’t have any other choice anymore.

Gary closed his eyes and focused on breathing, silently and rapidly. The embarrassment of being reduced to panting made him feel even worse. A throbbing pain pulsed behind his eyes and forehead. Walls closed in, radiating heat and warmth, suffocating him. The door opened. In front of him was Anne, a not quite middle aged, blonde woman who Gary once had a crush on some years prior.

“Oh, hi Gary,” Anne said, ducking her head slightly. She tried to palm the stacks of flyers, but Gary stood in the doorway.

“Anne, c'mon, I know you got the memos,” Gary said.

She looked down. Clutched against her chest was the stack of papers. “Missing Dog,” bolded across the top. A color picture peeked out from where her arm cradled the stack. Gary sighed. Anne mumbled and started to tear up.

“It’s fine, just see me later, okay?”

“Thanks, Gary,” Anne said and rushed out the door.

The printer beeped. “Replace toner,” the display said. Gary felt feverish. Darkness crept into the corners of his vision. Stumbling back to his office, he plopped into his chair.

“Maybe it won’t be that much,” Gary said opening up a catalog. Magenta, Cyan, Yellow, Black, he mouthed, running his finger down the supplies list.

“$1000? gently caress me,” he said slumping back into his chair. He ran his hands through his already thinning hair, picturing his father. A welfare queen is what Gary’s father would have been called, but back then he was just a lazy, laid off drunk. A functionless, irredeemable drain on resources, Gary thought.

He shook his head, I am different, I am functional, he thought. Punching numbers on his phone, he grabbed the receiver.

“Gladice, what’s the budget look like?”

“We’re looking—barely okay, Gary.”

“You didn’t order that toner, did you?”

There was a pause. “No, you said we had to hold out until the end of the month, and to put it on next month’s budget.”

He remembered. Right about the same time he had sent out his third memo about unnecessary printer use. He pictured himself, sitting on a recliner with a bottle of gin between his legs, feet in a bucket of cold water. Lying to his unemployment officer he was looking for jobs so he could get just one more check.

“Put in an order for another set of toner cartridges.”

“Are you sure?”

Gary hesitated. “Yeah.”

“You know, there’s still time to furlough-“

“Absolutely not. We’ve been over this before. Just put it in.”

Gary hung up the phone and leaned back. He sighed and waited. Two minutes, he suspected, would be all it would take. The phone rang after one.

“Mr. Bennett wants to see you,” Gladice said. Gary nodded to no one and hung up. Mr. Bennett was three floors up but still several levels below the top. Gary took the stairs slowly. He walked past his boss’s secretary, who didn’t even look at him.

“What the hell is this?” Bennett said, turning his monitor. Gary looked at the authorization email Gladice’s order required.

“It’s toner, sir.”

“I don’t give a poo poo what it is, it’s $1000 over budget.”

“I have to print-“

“Listen Gary, I don’t know how many memos I have to send you. Your budget, your problem. Handle it, or I will handle you,” Bennett said. Mr. Bennett’s secretary popped her head in.

“Mr. Dennis is on the line for you,” she said.

“gently caress. Handle your poo poo, Gary,” Mr. Bennett said. He flicked his hand and picked up the phone. “Hi Mr. Dennis, no, yes I got the memo. No, it’s taken care of, I promise, no-“

Gary walked back down the flights of stairs back to his office. Gary could feel the tips of his ears glowing red.

“Get Anne.”

In his office chair he remembered his father telling him about sacrifice, and how to make ends meet. That was why he couldn’t get a new backpack for school, why his shoes had holes in them. He pictured himself sitting in his office chair, face red, hair thinning, belt a little too tight, telling Anne about sacrifice. His head throbbed.

The knock at the door startled him.


“Come in.”

Anne put her head in first, sniffing the air for predators.

“You wanted to see me?”

“Anne, sit down please.” She took a seat. Neither said anything.

“The printer,” Gary said, finally. “C’mon.”

“I know, I understand, it’s just, Boxcar, you have to know what he looks-“ she started, words burbling out of her mouth.

“Anne, stop. I have to,” his face felt red hot. Saliva pooled and dripped from his teeth. “I have to. Anne, I have to-“

She looked at him with wet eyes.

“I have to write you up,” he said in one emptying breath. Anne’s eyes lit up and a smile appeared on her face. She quickly put her head down.

“I understand, I’m sorry--won’t happen again.”

Gary nodded and she left. He was still hot but felt it dissipate. He picked up the phone.

“Gladice, I won’t be in next week. I’ll be the one taking that furlough.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

“Yes. If Mr. Bennett calls, tell him everything’s taken care of.”

“Thanks, Gary.”

Gary nodded again and hung up the phone. He reclined in his chair and remembered the sacrifices of his father.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Sitting Here posted:



We need to have some sort of Thunderdome mandatory re-write week for lazy bastards like me.

That would actually be really cool, combined with a forced submission to a journal.

If anyone's up for a brawl, I'm itching to do some more work this week.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Which is really just bizarre. A self-imposed flash rule is just what you happened to write your story about.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Get me a judge, someone wants to brawl!

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


:siren: TD Week 32 Brawl :siren:

Flash Rules: Flash and Rule. Word Count: 750

Afterschool Duel
Words: 745

At the playground, I parted the mass of people with only my presence. Harbingers from atop the monkeybars and slides crowed my arrival. Heads swiveled in disbelief. Crumpled in my hand was the flyer advertising my doom at 4:00pm sharp. Professional quality, could have only been made by Marty Huffer, the computer science teacher. The Word Art was impeccable.

“Jimmy, you don’t have to do this,” said Charlie Walt. Charlie taught art, what did he know of masculinity in action? I was the protagonist. I had to do this.

“Don’t worry, I have a plan,” I said.

I did have a plan, and getting beaten into the pavement by Archie Brownstone wasn’t it. Mr. B, everyone called him, even us, his peers. He had an honorable discharge from the Navy. I wouldn’t stand a chance in fisticuffs. No, cleverness would be my savior. What would Huck Finn do? Be more like Ralph, less Piggy. Disarm Mr. B with surprise. I would drop my pants in defiance to these written standards of engagement, literally. Wouldn’t punch a man in glasses, eh? What about a man with his pants around his ankles shirking convention and defying this barbarism? He would be befuddled and confused, the lummox.

And there, in the center of it all, stood the antagonist, Mr. B, the science teacher. Barrel-chested and with pants that sat too high on his waist. His Oxford already off; chest hairs barely constrained by his white undershirt.

Mr. B straightened up and looked down his nose at me. He cocked his fist back, showing his infamous knuckle tattoo, “FIST.” Science teachers, always labeling the most obvious things, no room for an imagination.

“Are you ready for this?” Mr. B asked.

“Only one thing,” I sneered. “No time outs.” Mr. B smiled, the rest of the faculty sucked in a breath.

The crowd closed in around us. I imagined him to think of us as two nuclei, and he was going to force me out, away from the school. But I thought of myself as a fox, and he a crow. So proud, nestled on his perch looking down at all of us. I was going to make his jaw drop. My belt buckle clinked, the sharpness of it cut through the air. At once the breeze cooled my sweaty nethers, and brought the gasps to my ears. Music. Victory. Power.

“You think I ain’t ever seen a dick before, boy?” Mr. B said, coming at me.

And suddenly I was going to get my rear end handed to me with my pants around my ankles. My innards twisted like a towel being dried. There was no room for anything in my stomach as everything constricted. And then I knew what I had to do.

My knees wobbled as I bent, but I kept my composure. I let loose a shout, a howl, a prayer to Moloch himself and then grit my teeth.

I could see the horror in the eyes of the teachers in front of me, and hear the hollow echo of the sounds of at least two professionals, retching behind me. I felt my gut surge, and in my head, the beast roared triumphant, followed by a meaty smack as the log struck the blacktop. After my gastric bypass, I had to be careful of what I ate, but last night was steak night. That's when the smell first reached me, intensified by the aerosolized spatter off the tar. I stared straight at Mr. B, and even as my eyes watered, I felt my jaw loosen and lips peel back into a rictus that would do any death's head proud.

“Aww, Jimmy,” Charlie said.

Mr. B’s arms sank. I had sapped the will to fight out of him and expelled it out my backside. Standing, I placed my hands on my hips. Panic still wound its tight fingers around my gut, but I had to appear purposeful in direction and demeanor. Murmurs and disappointed sighs drifted lazily through the crowd and people started to leave. I forced a smile, a winning grin splayed out on my face like a jackal. I was untouchable. Slowly, they all left. Only Charlie was left, sitting on the wooden edge of a sandbox. His chin resting on his hands, fingers framing his shock of a face.

“Well, I guess I won.”

“But, man, your mess,” Charlie said.

“gently caress it,” I said. “Let those lazy piece of poo poo janitors deal with it.”

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I suppose that can be accommodated.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Prompts: Devastating Event leads to Unexpected Reaction, Beautiful Moment
Word Count: 1000
Second Place
Words: 989

Every picture of young Orson Collier was framed in black. James Collier thought the décor tacky. Black is overdone, he thought. Blackness crept into every aspect of the wake. Black plates, black napkins, why did everything have to be black, James raged silently to himself.

Because that’s what Marcy wanted. Traditionalist to a fault, he remembered arguing with her.

“You’ve been so strong,” Samantha, Marcy’s sister, said. She ran a hand comfortingly across James’s shoulders. “You’ve really helped keep Marcy together.”

“It hasn’t been easy,” James said. Fire rose in his belly. No, it had not been easy, but he was the man of the house.

“Orson would be proud of you,” Samantha said. What the gently caress does she know, he thought. But, she was right, despite the vapidness of her words. Orson was the exemplar son. Football, student legislature, scholarship offers, blossoming into a future man’s man. All thanks to his Father. And yet, in the aftermath of Orson’s death, James had been largely ignored.

Marcy was the train wreck that everyone needed to fix. Comfort the mother, ignore the father, that was how the world operated, and it wasn’t fair. Orson would have known the enormity his father had to endure. James felt as though he could actually connect with his son more than the rest of his family.

That wasn’t his daughter’s fault, no, she took after her mother too much. Certainly wasn’t the youngest son’s, either, for he could barely communicate at all. So why was he so angry, he wondered. Surrounded by people, and yet very alone.

Circling and circling, everyone wearing black, they spoke their condolences. Flowers arranged perfectly, white lilies, and the hors d’oeuvres aged white cheddar and white crackers. James stood in the center, and the world blurred. No one had any hysterics, just serene grief. They were a black river and James stood like a rock, letting it pass around him. No rapids, the water knew not to anger the rock. Each person swept around him, and touched him, said something to him, eroded him by just an imperceptible amount, but an amount nonetheless.

He could feel himself crumble and join the flowing blackness, and be drowned in them, when a snake, black as onyx and wet as oil, grew from the water. Everything flowed into the body of the snake, its yellow eyes as bright as sunflowers, its fangs dripping curdled milk, it hissed at him, threatening to strike. James stood there and waited.

“What will you do now?”

James said nothing to the snake. The snake sank its fangs into his shoulder.

“What will you do now?”

Kill my wife, he thought. Show the world that I exist, too.

“James? Hello?”

James shook his head. In front of him stood Pastor Greg, looking concerned.

“I’m sorry, Greg, I was just, I don’t know. Thinking.”

“I understand, Jim. I can’t imagine how hard this has been for you.”

James nodded. The fire returned.

“Orson’s coach would like to speak, is that okay with you?”

“Of course, I’m sorry, I haven’t really been organizing this very well, have I?”

“You’re doing a wonderful job, James,” Pastor Greg said.

I am doing a wonderful job, James thought. Orson’s varsity coach began to talk, but it came out as flies. They buzzed around the room, whispering praises and accolades. James knew them well, he had been there every step of the way, slowly guiding the boy to greatness. The flies crawled across the cheese plate and the fruit, rubbing their legs and cleaning their wings. James watched them buzz faster and faster, as his wife’s sobs grew louder.

Marcy held a napkin in her hand, trying not to lose composure. James wondered if he should be sitting next to her, holding her gently but firmly, but she was flanked by family and friends already. The flies came together in a swarm and came to rest on Marcy’s shoulders. They buzzed, and buzzed, and buzzed. They crawled up her neck and into her ears, until there were no more flies. No more buzzing.

Only clapping now. Others are wiping their eyes, or shaking Marcy comfortingly. The flies are congratulating Marcy in her head, James thought. After all, she birthed him, and then, what?

The milk venom constricted the veins in his brain, causing him sharp pain.

“How will they ever know?” Something behind James buzzed. James did not turn around.

“How will you show them your worth?”

James turned. A pair of dull orange orbs stared straight at him. Hundreds of pockmarks lined the eyes, and jagged, sharp hairs stuck out at him like daggers. The giant fly’s emerald body shone brightly in the sunlight coming through the windows. Its wings shook violently, but mesmerized James. On the back of the fly was a child, James’s youngest.

“How will you show them?” the child asked.

The venom coursed through James’s veins, tightening his muscles. The child grabbed a hair from the fly and pulled. Blood ran down the boy’s hand, twisting around the hair as it slowly came out from the body of the fly. Slick with blood and pus, the hair slid out of the fly, as smaller thorns and shards sprouted from each inch of fresh hair. Raising the blade aloft, strands of goop dripping from the jagged, thorny hair, the child leveled it at James.

“Tell me how you will show them.”

James said nothing still. The child sneered and thrust the blade into James’s stomach. Tears formed in James’s eyes. His gut gurgled, black tar spilling out from the wound.

“How will they ever know?”

“Marcy has to die.”

“And?”

“You will become my prize,” James said.

The child removed the blade from James, causing him to fall onto his knees and clutch his stomach. Immediately he was surrounded by mourners and friends, asking him if he was okay. The child riding the fly smiled and nodded.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


This is what happens when you don't get a prompt out in time. Looking at you Fanky.

Also at Jeza, so he can set up round 2 for me and Nubile.


Martello, I will take you up on that brawl. 3 rounds, 1000 word count. I will send out PMs to people who would like to judge.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


sebmojo posted:

Make it a one and done. Multi stage brawls poo poo up the dome, especially as blood is in the water right now.

So it goes.


Sorry Nubile, I'm trading up for a different model.


Martello, I nominate Twinkle Cave if he's still reading the thread. Otherwise, whoever wants to step in is good with me.

Also, in.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


TD Week 33
Prompt: clear narrative arc. No stream of consciousness bullshit, kthx.
"The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living."
Word Count: 500
Flash Rule: 400 words or less.

A Fine Day
Words: 375

John Warner lost his father and grandfather in the crowd, but he recognized all the men and women around him, and knew he was safe. He slipped through legs and danced around skirts to the barricade, which he could either barely see over, or duck to easily see under. John Warner stood on his tip-toes. Policemen walked up and down on the other side of the barricades. There was a parade today.

And when the marching men came, they came with flags and uniforms and shouts. Red, white and navy, American but not. The shapes were distorted and twisted. Pairs and pairs of black leather boots stomped in marching time. John saw guns at their side, just like policemen. But John knew they were not policemen. Everyone behind the barricade was silent, their voices stolen. The shouting men stole the voices of the fathers and mothers and added them to their own. A marching man, with no hair under his hat, looked at John. And the man with no hair smiled at him in a way that made John feel empty. And the men would not stop shouting. John looked at the fathers and mothers around him.

John saw the tears in the eyes of those fathers and mothers, and their fists balled and jaws grinding and he looked away. Energy licked through his body. Tiny thorns of heat punctured his every pore. He envisioned heat, shimmery and wavy, rising off his body like pavement in summer. Shaking furiously, he commanded this heat to fly from his body and incinerate the men.

John released and nothing happened and he slumped. His forehead hurt from scrunching his eyes and his hands hurt from clenching so tightly. And at his foot lay a rock, perfect in size and shape. The kind of rock his fathers had taught him to skip across the lake. John took the rock in his hand.

“Go away!” he shouted and threw the rock.

And like an avalanche, the crowd bore down on the men. The barricades came down and the policemen ran and fathers fell over fathers towards the men. Guns fired, blood spilled. John watched men kill men and he stood there as the maelstrom swirled around him.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Thanks Kaishai/Sitting Here, I was going for a minority group of people being forced to watch a hate group march in the streets legally (like a neo nazi parade) and just not being able to stomach having to be unable to do anything. I definitely understand why it was too vague to work out like that, and I blame Fanky for everything wrong in life.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Is there a signup deadline? Or is that open until the posting deadline?

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


TD Week 34
Prompt: Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sounds, The Mars Volta https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0XepjKgZEY
Title: In the Night
Words: 1195

Louis sat on the balcony of the lighthouse, wondering if he should throw his half eaten can of beans into the sea. Round and round, in circular fashion, he chewed the pulverized mass in his mouth. It was in that twilight, the eastern sky an ombré of night, and the sanguine sun at his back, Louis could not eat another bite. He went into the inner pocket of his peacoat, pulling a weathered photograph. Creased and browning with age, was a woman, his wife, Linda.

Putting the picture back into the wool pocket, he descended the stairs down. The first room was the pantry, with canned goods and a small hotplate, and further down, past a cot and blanket, and small wardrobe of hand stitched jeans, Louis entered the engine room. Diesel fuel engines powered the lighthouse, mostly the torch and rotary lenses at the top, and the radio and hotplate when Louis needed it. Often Louis would sit all night in front of the radio, swaddled in his threadbare coat and flannel, listening for something more than static from the sea.

Sometimes, he would doze and a familiar voice would come through on the radio. Tears would spring to his eyes.

“Linda? Linda, how are you?”

“Louis, I cannot wait to see you,” she would reply.

“I know,” Louis said, wiping his nose on his sleeve. “Soon, I promise.”

And he would wake, and it would have felt so real. Echoes would chase through his ears of her voice, soft as flower petals and silk.

Louis refilled the diesel engine and cranked it. He glared at the chugging cacophony, his own personal jailer, a remnant of tradition and laziness. Automation had begun to spread throughout the country, and yet this antiquated machine was both his savior and the anchor that kept him bound like poltergeist to the lighthouse.

Stopping at the pantry he looked at the cans, stacks upon stacks. Linda’s favorite meal was a tuna melt on sourdough. Melted swiss, toasted bread, with a little relish mixed in with the mayonnaise, he knew the recipe by heart. He had not made the sandwich for years. Closing the door without removing an item, he went back to the top to stare out at the sea, waiting for no one.

“Ha ha!” Louis said. On the horizon he could see a vessel, large enough for the lights of the boat to reach him. Several miles away, he was not sure just how many, but he waved. Knowing the boat could not see him did not stop him. The vigor of a younger man flowed through Louis, and he knew today had been a good day.

Sitting down, he took out the picture again. A breeze blew through, causing him to pull the black wool closer around him. He hung onto the photo and ran a coarse finger over it. It was dark now, and only the light from the circling lens lit his view, but he knew her smile, and sunflower dress, every wrinkle and crack by heart. And then there was darkness.

Louis bolted upright as the torch and lens dimmed and grinded to a halt. Skipping steps as many as he could without falling, Louis ran. In front of him the engine was grinding on something, and he could feel the heat coming off of it. Louis trembled at the thought of sending his hands into the inner workings of the generator.

Forgetting to breath, he ran to the top of the lighthouse. Closer than before, he could see the ship, and he waved and shouted at it. Louis dragged his fingers through his hair and grabbed as much of its thinning foliage his head would allow.

Back down the steps he ran to the radio. Quickly dialing, and checking hand written notes of frequencies, he called out over. Nothing. Dead.

“Louis, is that you?” Linda’s voice came through the speaker. Louis straightened up. His breath caught in his chest.

“Louis? Can you hear me?”

“Linda, the lighthouse, it’s not working!”

“I know, Louis, you have to fix it. You have to save them.”

“I don’t know what to do!”

Louis breathed in short, labored breaths. In the air was a scent of burning fuel. Louis ran down to the generation and dark smoke was rising from the engine. Back up the stairs he went, as many shirts, and pants as he could. Downstairs he began soaking the clothes in crude fuel, sloshing and splashing the fuel everywhere. Louis tried to shake the light headedness away as fumes filled his nostrils.

Slumped against the winding stairwell, Louis cradled the bundle of soggy clothes in his arms as he got to the top. The ship was closer, but he thought he would still have time. Lining the balcony with the shirts and pants, he drew a lighter from his pocket. Backing down the stairs, he lit a trail of fuel that sent flames shooting up along the railings and roof.

Coughing and spitting he continued his round grabbing more and more clothes, each time he noticed the smoke from the generator growing worse. Weary, he stumbled, kicking over a small drum of fuel, sending ripples under the generator.

He hesitated. Nothing had happened yet, did he have enough time for one more trip, he thought. Finally, he stripped off his jacket, dunking his peacoat into the fuel, he ran back to the top to continue his bonfire.

As he threw the jacket into the inferno at the top of the lighthouse he realized what he had done. Swatting at the flames he tried to retrieve his jacket, but the fuel soaked into his skin and hair began to burn and singe. He threw himself backwards, rolling down the stairs and landing in front of the radio.

“Louis, it’s okay, you’ve done all you can,” Linda said through the radio.

“No, you don’t understand, I have to save you,” Louis sobbed. “I can’t die like this, I can’t, I can’t.”

“Louis, you don’t have to save me, we can still be together.”

More and more smoke came from the engine room, and he knew the fire had started. Standing at the top of the stairwell he saw the entire engine room ablaze, blocking any exit out of the lighthouse. At the top of the lighthouse, the fire still burned into the night. Louis sat, coughing at the radio.

“I’m so sorry Linda, I’m so sorry.”

“Louis, I don’t care where I am, as long as I am with you.”

“I tried, I tried to be good, I thought if I was good, you would be there with me in the end,” Louis said.

“You can’t save everyone,” she said.

Louis began to cry. More and more smoke began to fill the room.

“But it’s all my fault, I was going to take you with me, I just needed more time. I needed more time to be a good man.”

“Louis, you are a good man, you are. I love you Louis.”

“I’m afraid that you won’t be there, that I didn’t do enough.”

“I will be there, I promise.”

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In. Another Place. http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc/6c_files/documents/mysteries/Harris%20Burdick/placetime.htm

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Really the process should go: read the prompt, ignore the prompt, write the story you felt like writing, then go back and try to shoe horn the prompt back in. Shrug your shoulders and post.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Nubile Hillock posted:

This poo poo right here is why seb's so much better than you fuckers. EFFECTIVE USE OF WORDS

Round 2 of 3. Find a judge.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Kaethela posted:



This lovely delicacy is Casu Marzu. It's cheese that's been infested with fly larvae. Fun fact, the maggots will actually jump out of it at you while you try to eat it.


I'm in for this belly crime.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Haha, well the original post was actually about challenging Nubile to the rematch he wanted, but it has evolved into much better. I wasn't expecting a best 2 of 3, three-way. One off will do.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


TD Week 35 Brawl Noah v Nubile Hillock v Sebmojo
Food: Casu Marzu (Maggot Cheese)
Words: 998

Blu Velvet

Jim would have been satisfied with a nice gorgonzola. Staring at his sweaty socks, he regretted wearing sandals. This was all Rich’s fault, he thought.

In the dimly lit storeroom, a woman sat at a wooden table, picking at her fingernails with a hooked cheese knife. She stuck her chin out.

“So you are looking for something special, yes?” the woman said.

Formaggio della mosca?” Rich said. Jim rolled his eyes at the exaggerated accent.

She cocked her eyebrow.

“No, we don’t have that,” she said, returning to her nails.

Rich stepped forward with his chest out. Jim gulped.

“We want the Casu Marzu,” Rich said.

“You know that is illegal in Sardinia,” she said, not taking her eyes off her nails.

“I, I did not know that,” Rich lied.

“You are Americano? Of course you are, popatz,” she said with a laugh. Jim felt hot and wanted to scratch himself all over. “20 euro.”

“An ounce?!” Jim said.

The cheese-monger looked at him blankly. “A gram, Americano. Ugh.”

The sound of her disgust made Jim’s skin crawl. He turned to leave but Rich grabbed his arm.

“Let’s see it first,” he said. The woman smirked and shrugged her shoulders. She retrieved a cloth covered wheel from a dark corner of the room.

“You do not want them to escape too soon,” she said, pulling back the cloth. All other scents were forced from Jim’s nostrils. Only the Casu Marzu remained. Pungent and bold, it reminded him of feet at the end of the day. Grounded and down to earth, yet at the same time dignified and proud of the work that created the smell. It was personal and familiar, a part of his forgotten body.

“That’s too much,” Rich began. She put the cloth back on.

She twirled the hooked knife with a limp wrist. “Perhaps we could trade, gram for gram,” the woman said, grinning. “You have some to spare, balena.

“10 euro,” Rich said.

“No.”

“But that’s too much.”

Così è la vita.

Rich shifted his weight and sprang forward, grabbing the wheel, and shoving the woman. She slammed into the wooden table.

“Run!” Rich shouted.

They bolted out of the storeroom, their sandals flapped loudly as the rubber struck uneven cobbled streets. They could hear the woman shouting; they didn’t look back. Alley after alley, turn after turn, Jim breathed heavily.


“Stop, have to stop,” Jim said. They ducked into an alcove and sat braced against the walls of the stoop, barely able to say a word between breaths.

“I can’t believe you did that,” Jim said. Rich laughed. Jim stood, but Rich grabbed him by the wrist.

“It’s okay, we lost her.”

“I-“

“Wait, just a little taste can’t hurt, can it?”

Rich pulled the cloth completely away from the cheese roll. Its outer rind was easier to see in the daylight, and the soft curds in the center reminded Jim of a sour-dough bread bowl. The pungent aroma came back to Jim and his mouth watered.

“Well, maybe just a taste,” Jim said. Jim swung his bag around and pulled out a baguette and a sweet red apple. He handed Rich a paring knife, and dug out a small jar of fresh clove honey.

With two fingers Rich grabbed clumps of cheese, and giggled.

“I can feel them,” he whispered. Jim dug in too, and could feel tiny movements of the larva, like butterfly kisses on the nape of his neck. The cheese was sticky and wet, and parts of it clung to his finger as he put it on his baguette. Rich and Jim locked eyes, each with a slice of bread next to their mouths. They nodded to each other and slid the bread past their wet lips.

Tanginess crept across Jim’s tongue first, the acidity of the larva’s digestive juices making the first move. Soon the boldness of the flavor, heightened by the pungent aroma, settled in as his saliva began to mix with the acid. Saltiness dazzled the tip of his tongue, and as he bit down the slightest bit of crunch and pop turned the texture experience completely upside-down.

Next he grabbed a wedge of apple and dug it straight into the cheese curds. The heavenly sweetness of the apple mixed with the saltiness of the cheese, and softened the boldness. Wishing for a smooth doppelbach to wash it all down with, Jim found himself a little disappointed that the apple’s crispness masked the slight crunchiness of the cheese. Jim played with the portions of the cheese crumbles, trying to find the perfect balance of fresh baguette to cheese, and drizzled on top a tiny bit of honey.

The bread provided the best vessel for the Casu Marzu, allowing his mouth to be full, and let his jaw work, but not be overpowered with too much cheese. When his tongue hit the cheese, the taste explosion radiated, and right when it would be too much, the tiny sweetness of the honey layer mellowed the entire sensation. The cheese was soft, but not too creamy like goat cheese. With just the baguette and honey, he could feel the texture of the cheese entirely, savoring the crunch. Jim closed his jaw, allowing the sensation of the larva to tickle his gums, almost effervescent. After he swallowed, the taste changed, leaving his mouth with only the boldness. He thought of it like grapefruit, sweet at first, but then bitterness until the next bite. He tore off another hunk of baguette. Rich moaned as he slumped against the alcove walls.

“What are we going to do with all this?” Jim laughed.

“I guess we know what’s for dinner, and breakfast,” Rich said.

As they dug deep into the cheese, shadows appeared over them. The woman stood there in front of them, with a much larger knife in her hands. Behind her stood several thugs. She looked at the massive crater in the cheese and sneered.

“Gram for gram, yes?”


e: italics/title.

Noah fucked around with this message at 21:44 on Apr 4, 2013

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Prompt: Another Place, Another Time http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/davidc/6c_files/documents/mysteries/Harris%20Burdick/placetime.htm

The Next Chapter
Words: 825

My biggest fear was that I would let my friends down. I didn’t care about the adventure, I just wanted to help Bernie and Gary get their dad back. I like to think that I did, but I won’t ever know for sure. That book knew, and I like to think that Bernie knew too. That book knew everything. It even knew when I would fail.

We crashed through the woods, scraped and cut. In my shoulder was still a thorn the size of a railroad spike, and I was just lucky enough that it wasn’t very deep. Ahead of me were Bernie and the rest of them, moving so confidently and with purpose.

“Wait up,” I said, trying to grab at the thorn.

“It’s just up ahead,” Bernie said. As he walked he flipped through the pages of the book. Cracked blue leather and gold trimmed, I desperately wanted to know what that old thing smelled like, but Bernie wouldn’t let it out of his hands.

I lagged behind the gang, Bernie, his brother Gary, and their friends Evan and Mary. Bernie trudged up sand dunes with his face buried in the book, a finger tracing his place. The forest had turned quickly into rocky beach, and in front of us was a railroad track that stretched into the infinite horizon. On the track was a cart, with a crude sail attached to it.

“This is it,” Bernie said. He flapped the book shut. “One step closer.”

A fiddler crab, as big as a dog, clacked its big pincher at us before scuttling away behind a dune. Small waves lapped the shore like small ripples. The ocean curved into the distance, and I felt despair.

“Evan, your time to shine,” Bernie said. Evan’s face twisted slightly, but nodded. Bernie tapped his finger on the book and smiled. Mary came over to me, and grabbed the thorn and yanked it out of my shoulder.

“Gah,” I said. The pain coursed through my body, squeezing the breath out of my lungs. “Thanks,” I said through the heavy gasps.

”Mary you go help Evan and Gary get the cart ready,” Bernie said. Mary nodded and traipsed away. “Come over here with me,” he said to me.

Bernie took me with him to a flat spot on the beach. He sat me down on a piece of driftwood, and I could feel him looming over me. I couldn’t look at him, only at the book in his hand. Scraps of tiny paper poked out every couple of pages. I started to cry.

“It’s okay,” Bernie said. “You’ve done more than enough.”

“But I can still help,” I said, standing. My shoulder burned and I had to sit back down.

“We’re going to go on without you,” he said.

“But, but your dad-“

Bernie knelt next to me.

“You’ve got a mom and dad, and your little brother back home, you have to help them too,” he said.

“It’s okay, I’m not that hurt,” I lied.

“You’re not in the next chapter,” Bernie said.

My stomach dropped. That couldn’t be true, I might have been a little hungry, and tired, and maybe a bit scratched up, but there was no way I was going to get left behind. Blood soaked my jacket sleeve and made it feel ten times heavier.

“It’s time for you to go home,” Bernie said. He stood and held out his free hand. With my good arm, I reached out and grabbed his forearm. As I stood, I faltered for a moment, and I knew he was right.

”This is where I go home?” I asked, more to the book than to Bernie.

“Yes, it is.”

“What’s it say after that?”

Bernie’s fingers tightened around the book and he looked away.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t gotten that far yet.”

I nodded. We stood there for a moment in silence and I started crying again. Bernie put his arms around me and I felt the book jab into my back. I wanted to laugh because it hurt a little.

“Bernie! The cart’s ready!” Gary shouted. All at once he disengaged and looked back to the group.

“I’m coming!”

I couldn’t look him in the eyes. He just put his hand on my shoulder and walked away. The second to last thing I ever saw of Bernie and the gang was him walking away, with that book hanging by his side.

I wonder, in my old age, what ever became of them. Sometimes, when I go back to that place on the beach, where I saw them get on the cart, I still wonder if I should try to catch up with them. I sit and gaze out at that curved, empty ocean and wonder if I was ever really in that book at all. If I was meant to know, surely he would have told me.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Your work should stand alone without having to preface it with any information. If you have to tell us what you were going for that means your story didn't carry itself well enough.


Edit: Saddest Rhino, that's loving ridiculous. You're next.

Noah fucked around with this message at 21:34 on Apr 8, 2013

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


What do you mean, you had to manually count? Copy/paste and word count? The hell?

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Oh christ. Welp. You got me.

edit: I never read that story.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Thunderbrawl Noah v Martello
Prompt: A Medical Professional in a Violent Milieu.

The Most Amount of Good

Words: 2000

Jorge Gonzalo believed in two things: That all living things deserved compassion, and to do the most amount of good in any situation. Sometimes, when he would sit on the cinderblock steps of the warehouse back porch, covered to his elbows in blood, smoking unfiltered cigarettes, he had doubts about number one.

His hand quivered, the xylazine had completely worn off. The cigarette burnt down to the end as he stared off into the cow pasture. Jorge envied the cows. Nothing to worry about. Their death would be painless and invisible. Bringing the cigarette to his mouth, blood smeared his face as his hand shook harder. He had forgotten to take his gloves off.

He ripped the gloves off and threw them into the yard. Resting his elbows on his knees, he cradled his chin in sweaty hands. Behind him he heard heavy steps.

“Hey, my friend, how is he? How is my Rompiendo?” Manny said. Jorge took a drag.

“He’ll live. Barely. He needs chlorpromazine, several times a day. Clean and re-wrap the bandages twice a day.”

Manny looked blank.

“I’ll write it down,” Jorge said, miming writing a note. Manny nodded and smiled. As Manny started to turn, Jorge grabbed him by the wrist.

“Don’t let him fight anymore. Stop. You’ll kill him.”

Small sores and dried blood lined Jorge’s wrist, and Manny tugged hard to break Jorge’s grip. Manny raised his other hand, in it was a chain choker collar. Jorge let go, causing Manny to stumble. Manny spat and walked away.

At the moment, the sores didn’t itch or hurt, but Jorge knew they would soon. Powder from the latex gloves irritated them. He had asked for hypo-allergenic ones long ago but Mr. Rivera wouldn’t order anymore unless he was out of his current box. Sometimes he would double wrap gloves just to get through them faster.

Leaning to the side, he pulled his wallet out. Inside was a weathered and folded piece of plain white paper. Creases every which way peaked and dipped from years of haphazard folding. On it was Jorge’s decade old rejection letter to veterinary school. Jorge read the opening line over and over again. We regret to inform you.

He spat, letting the cigarette fall out of his mouth at the same time. Stomping it into the ground, he turned and walked through the warehouse and makeshift kennel. Dogs barked at him, not ferociously, but with a warm greeting. His hand trembled as he let them lick his fingers through the cages. Pepito, an errand boy no older than 12, was up to his neck in rubber overalls. He carried a bucket of soapy water and a push-broom that looked comically too big in the boy’s hands. In an open area of the warehouse shoddy bleachers stood covered in sticky fluids and scraps of worthless betting tickets. Jorge watched him splash the water in the space in front of the bleachers where the dogs fought.

Waves of crimson, soapy water circled the drain as Pepito sloshed the water everywhere. Scritch, scritch, scritch, the familiar sound of the wet push-broom sent chills up Jorge’s arms. Nausea swelled in his stomach, and he salivated. Barking echoed off the warehouse as the broom picked up speed. Outside, a man and a boy were talking to Mr. Rivera. They threw the body of a dog into the bed of a blue truck. The boy was crying. Mr. Rivera took out a wad of bills from his pants and flicked out a couple to the man. After a pat on the shoulder, the man loaded the boy into the cab and the truck trundled away on a dirt road. The boy had never stopped sobbing.

“Jorge, ah there you are. Are you feeling okay?Enfermo?” Mr. Rivera said.

Jorge shook his head. “No, I’m fine.” He swallowed a mouthful of saliva and shook all over. “I need to order more supplies, we’re running low.”

“Jorge, are we running low, or are we out?

Jorge sighed.

“Just low.”

“Ha ha, you are a good man Jorge, you do good work for me. Make a list of things you need and we will go over it tomorrow,” Mr. Rivera said. Jorge nodded. Mr. Rivera turned and walked away.

“Mr. Rivera?”

“Yes, my friend?”

“How long?”

“One more month, Jorge, just one more month.”

“You said that last month,” Jorge said, swallowing another mouthful of saliva. His head ached and he felt pressure on his temples.

Mr. Rivera walked back over to him and spoke softer.

“Jorge, you owe me a lot of money, please do not forget that.”

Jorge’s vision blurred and his knees buckled. The world swayed, and the air became heavy, pressing him down into the mud. His head rocked as it hit the ground.

“Jorge are you okay? Jorge, estas bien? Jorge?”

Jorge woke up on in his bed, still covered in dry blood and mud. He leaned over the side and vomited onto the ground. Sweaty and itchy all over, he crashed through his bedside table drawers, grabbing a small plastic bag. Twisted around and tied shut with a rubber band, the bag held a small white, powdery nugget of heroin, cocaine and xylazine mixture. Throwing it into the cooker, it gave off a smell of strong medicine.

The smell of the mixture made Jorge’s muscles relax. When it was ready, he took a small syringe and found a spot on his arm. He stopped caring who saw the track marks, the sores kept people far enough away from him anyway. He settled back into the pillows, letting everything go, the vomit, the ravaged drawers, the mud and blood in his bed. He dreamed of being in a real clinic, in Miami maybe, fixing all the poor, sick little dogs of attractive, rich blonde women. That would be Jorge one day. Putting a cast on a little chihuahua, and having sex on the beach. Yeah, that’s going be me, he thought with a smile plastered on his face.

Pepito shook Jorge by the shoulders.

Despiértate, Jorge! Despiértate!!”

Jorge shot out of bed, it was still dark out.

“What, what do you want?”

“It’s Rompiendo! He’s hurt, real real bad,” Pepito said. Jorge panicked, had he botched the surgery? His hands trembled as he grabbed everything he needed. Pepito ran ahead, shouting for Jorge to catch up, but the mud was so deep, it went up to his waist. Jorge lit a cigarette with shaky hands, trying to get in a couple of drags. As he entered the warehouse everything twisted and turned, causing him to stagger. He faltered, and put his hand out. As he moved past the kennels, the dogs didn’t bark, they chanted: “Save him. Save him.”

Behind a plastic sheet, at the end of the warehouse was the makeshift operating room. The towering monolith in the center was the operating table. On the cold, metal slab of a table, Rompiendo lay breathing heavily. Fresh blood oozed out of him, and waterfalled off the table, creating a vast ocean. Jorge stomped out his cigarette and waded knee-deep into the blood.

“Gloves!”

These wounds were new, but how, he wondered. His hands stroked the dog’s muscular shoulders and neck, searching for the wounds that he had sewn shut just a few hours ago. He found the lines of the old wounds, but the sutures were gone, dissolved.

“What day is it?!” Jorge shouted. Pepito looked at him with wide white eyes, melting like runny eggs.

“It’s Saturday, my friend,” Manny said from the shadows. Manny was perched upon a bird stand, black feathers sticking out from under his t-shirt. It had been 6 days since he had last seen Rompiendo, but he could not remember anything in between.

“What the hell did you do? I loving told you not to fight,” Jorge spat. Manny glared at him, but turned his head away. “It’s okay, boy, it’s okay,” Jorge said, stroking the dog again.

“Scissors,” Jorge said, holding out his hands. No one moved. “Scissors!” Pepito jumped and grabbed a small pair of surgical scissors from a nearby counter.

“Mix the cornstarch with water, Pepito, thick,” Jorge continued. Jorge inspected Rompiendo over, and over, looking for all the bite marks and re-opened wounds.

“He still won, my Rompiendo,” Manny squawked, his voice cracking. “He will never lose!”

Jorge bit the side of his mouth as he worked. He slathered the corn starch paste over the wounds he couldn’t work on at the moment. Jorge poured alcohol on the wounds he was ready work on, causing Rompiendo to yelp and twitch.

“It hurts Jorge, it hurts,” Rompiendo said. “Just let me die.”

“Shhh, shhh, Rompiendo, it will be okay,” Jorge said. “Xylazine, quickly.” Adrenaline surged, making his muscles bulge and balloon, but he had to keep it together. For Rompiendo. Primal electricity coursed through him, heating him up. Salty, dirty sweat stung his eyes.

“I don’t want to fight anymore, Jorge,” Rompiendo said.

“I know, I know, don’t worry,” Jorge said.

Pepito filled a syringe three feet long and handed it to Jorge. As Jorge picked it up his hands grew, tripling in size. Injecting the xylazine, Rompiendo relaxed immediately. Jorge moved methodically from one gaping, volcano-like hole to the next, washing away the corn starch plug with alcohol and soapy water, and tearing open new suture cases. In between washing the plug and starting to sew it shut, the wound would erupt blood, sending it spouting toward the ceiling. Empty shells of sterilized suture cases floated idly in the ocean of blood.

“Pepito, nose,” Jorge said. Pepito’s fingers extended and stretched, scratching Jorge’s itchy nose. Outside the moon passed by the window, and then the sun, and then the moon again, and Jorge finally finished. Exhausted, he let his body go, he couldn’t hold it up anymore. The blood ocean was gone, drained all away. Jorge wanted to throw up. He tossed his bloody gloves onto the concrete warehouse floor. He took in deep breaths and watched as Rompiendo raised his head and turned to him.

“Once more unto the breach, then? Thanks,” Rompiendo said to him. Jorge paused and looked at the dog. Rompiendo put his head back down, and breathed slowly, but heavily. Jorge giggled. Giggling turned into chuckling, and chuckling turned into raucous laughter. He wiped his eyes with his bloody forearm, his tears mixing with dog blood, making him look like a demented harlequin. He swiped supplies off the counters. Pepito and Manny pressed themselves against the back of the warehouse walls.

Jorge slumped to the ground still laughing. A sob poked through at the end of a laugh. Dogs howled and barked, cutting through his laughter and echoing off the warehouse walls. Tears flushed some of the dog blood out of his eyes, but he kept laughing. Standing, and still chuckling, he stumbled past the wild eyed Pepito and Manny. He grabbed the bottle of xylazine on his way out.

Digging through his bedside table, he took out another plastic bag. Putting the rock in the cooker, he plugged a syringe into the top of the xylazine bottle. He emptied the needle of xylazine into his arm, and hunched forward, still giggling. He took the syringe and filled it again. Almost dropping it, his fingers started going numb. Pounding it into his thigh, he pressed on the plunger.

With a smile on his face, he crawled into bed and thought of laying out poolside in Miami. Next to him, a blonde with fake breasts, and on the other side a pit bull. A mix probably, from a shelter, a rescue dog, yeah, that’s what he would get. Violet, he would name the dog Violet. Something soft, more its nature.

Pepito found Jorge two days later. He shook Jorge.

“Jorge! Estas bien, Jorge? Jorge!”

No matter how hard Pepito shook, he could not shake the smile off of Jorge’s face.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


I'm in with Jimson's Blue and Pink from Week 8: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3499761&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=34#post408042330

His story was 130 words over that week's limit, so I will only be allowed 1,500. He was also 3 days late, so gently caress, I guess I'll be on time?

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Look at this mess you've made, Sitting Here.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Thunderdome Week 36

Original Story by Jimson http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3499761&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=34#post408042330 Original Word Count: 1600.

Blue and Pink
Words: 808

Darcy paced around the apartment, smoking a cigarette. There was no ashtray in the apartment, smoking wasn’t allowed. Her mom had always wanted two perfect twin little girls. Not smokers, drinkers, liars, hypocrites or murderers. Stepping over the body of a man she didn’t know, she was careful not to step in any blood that was pooling on the hardwood floor. Two perfect little girls. Never turns out how you want, huh Mom, Darcy thought.

“I can’t go to prison, I can’t, they wouldn’t understand,” Lucy said.

Lucy wouldn’t stop crying. It could have been me, Darcy thought. That might have been me, with a gun in my hand.

“He was yelling, and shouting, and he was so angry,” Lucy babbled. “He was gonna tell everyone, I didn’t know what to do.”

“What was his name?”

“I think it was Chris,” Lucy said, sniffling.

This is how ugly I must look when I cry, Darcy thought.

“Did he hurt you?” Darcy said.

“He, he, he shouted at me and said he was going to.”

“Did he hurt you?”

“No,” Lucy said, looking at the ground.

Mom did everything she could to have two perfect little girls, Darcy thought. Pink bows, pink shoes, pink dresses. What could be more precious than two twin girls?

“What the gently caress are you going to tell the cops?”

“I don’t know!” Lucy shouted, waving her arms. Darcy remembered Lucy was still holding the gun, and went back to pacing and smoking.

The last thing Darcy ever wanted to be was a mother. Her eyes moved from the body to Lucy, wondering which one of them was her baby.

“We have to figure out what you’re going to tell the cops,” Darcy said. “Tell me again what happened.”

“We were at the bar, you know, just having drinks, everything was going, it was going really good,” Lucy said. Every other word punctuated by a sniffle.

“Tell me what happened,” Darcy said, enunciating every syllable.
“Just let me finish god damnit!”

Darcy forgot again Lucy was the one holding the gun. The person with the gun gets to talk. Was that all that was different, who was holding the gun, Darcy wondered.

”We came up here, and things started getting heavy, and just went to the bedroom, and I said no, I told him no, Darcy, I wanted to take things slow.”

Darcy knew what was going to happen next. She nodded, throwing her cigarette on the ground and tearing another one out of the box. Everyone did the same thing, even Mom.

“And and I said no, but he took off my skirt, and, and,” Lucy said.

“And he found out.”

Lucy nodded. Why was I the lucky one, Darcy thought. It could have been me.

“I’ll tell them he tried to rape me,” Lucy said.

“No, as soon as they do a rape kit on you it’ll be all over,” Darcy said, biting the nail of her thumb. “They’ll look at you just like this guy.”

“I can’t go to prison, Darcy, I can’t, you know what they’ll do to me,” Lucy started bawling. Just another pretty little girl, Darcy thought. It could have been me.

“They won’t understand!” Lucy shouted.

“Was he right handed or left handed?” Darcy asked. Lucy’s face scrunched.

“Was he right handed or left handed!?”

“Right! Right handed!”

Darcy stomped on the man’s right hand. Grinding her heel into the knuckles, tearing at the skin. She bent, scraping her nails against his cheek, digging until the skin caught and tore. Lucy dropped the gun, metal clattering against hardwood.

“What are—“

Darcy stood and walked to the bedroom doorway and slammed her face into the frame as hard as she could. She fell backwards, her eyes crossing.

“Oh gently caress me,” Darcy said. “gently caress me that hurts.” Blood trickled out of her nose and her eyes were swelling immediately. “I think I broke my nose.”

“Darcy what are you doing, oh my god, what the hell are you doing?”

“Shut up and get the hell out of here!”

“The cops—“

“Are gonna be here any second so you better get the gently caress out of here,” Darcy said. “Go to the cabin, and don’t leave until I get there,” Darcy said.

Lucy’s mascara ran like daggers down her face, but she nodded, understanding what Darcy said. Lucy ran out the door with a small backpack, sleeves of sweaters and shirts hanging out the sides of it. Darcy watched her look left, and right, and finally go right down the hallway. Towards the back entrance. Finally a smart decision, Darcy thought.

She wiped the handle of the revolver and put it in her hands. She leaned against the doorframe, trying to block out the throbbing pain from her face. Maybe it should have been me, she thought.

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Martello posted:

lol look at this noob

you don't pick the prompt bro, the judge does

sebmojo posted:

In.

Duel time, fella. Your prompt, 1000 words,
Who'll judge?

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


What happens if I win?

Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


Martello posted:


Or I can buy you an avatar of your choice

Nah, that's what I'm talkin' bout.

Sure I'm down for another. How about a prompt from Fanky Malloons?

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Noah
May 31, 2011

Come at me baby bitch


In.

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